Constantine Maroulis
Constantine Maroulis
After a stint on the fourth season of American Idol, Constantine Maroulis moved on to Broadway, starring first in The Wedding Singer and then in Rock of Ages, originating the role of wannabe rocker Drew, and earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor. Now, Maroulis is kicking off 2012 as nerdy scientist Melvin Ferd the Third in The Toxic Avenger at the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas. TheaterMania caught up with Maroulis to discuss the show, his experiences with Rock of Ages, and his advice for other reality show contestants.

THEATERMANIA: What made you want to do this show?
CONSTANTINE MAROULIS: I have been a fan of co-writers David Bryan and Joe DiPietro for a long time. And I got to do The Wedding Singer with John Rando, so it's great to work with him again. Plus, I think The Toxic Avenger is a great love story,

TM: According to your Twitter, there are some new songs and scenes in the show. What can you tell us about them?
CM: I don't want to give too much away, but there are some exciting new songs. David and Joe are an amazing team. We have many cool styles of music in this show. There is also a brand new set design.

TM: Nancy Opel, who plays the evil Mayor, has been involved with the show for a long time, including the original Off-Broadway run. Has she given you any pointers?
CM: She has been wonderful. She is our leader on the floor. And her voice is unbelievable. But this is actually new to her, too. Each installment of the musical has been different.

TM: 2011 was quite a year for you. You wrapped up the national tour of Rock of Ages and you recently celebrated your daughter's first birthday. How has fatherhood changed your life?
CM: It's been an incredible journey. She's a beautiful gift, and she is an inspiration for her mother and me.

TM: You have spent the last three years playing Drew in Rock of Ages, both on Broadway and on the national tour. How do you describe that experience?
CM: It was an amazing experience from day one. I knew they had something very special with this piece. This was the most rewarding experience for me, seeing this musical go from workshops, to off-Broadway, to Broadway. And then the national tour gave people across the country the chance to see what I do.

TM: And now it's a movie with such superstars as Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Alec Baldwin. Were you okay with Diego Boneta getting to play Drew?
CM: It's a testament to the work we put into it on stage that all these movie stars wanted to be involved. I'm an actor, so I just did my job by taking on a small role in the film. I had to be a part of this movie and I'm grateful for the opportunity!

TM: What's your advice for other reality show contestants?
CM: It's all about the work. The winners of these shows receive a big prize, but you're not guaranteed anything. They can pull that record contract at any point. You need to work hard and find out exactly what you want to do. What you do with that opportunity is up to you.